Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Production Roundup

Filming Update:

As reported last week, Jenna-Louise Coleman has now joined the Doctor Who "family"; speaking on the Richard Bacon Show, BAFTA winner Steven Moffat commented on the impact her arrival has had on the series:
It's just very exciting. When a new companion comes in it sort of reboots the show a little bit, it makes you look at the Doctor differently, it makes the show feel different, that's already happening. It's literally a new beginning, you're back to chapter one, in a way it's always a story of someone getting to know the Doctor, and now it's Jenna's character. There's a lot of ways (her character) will be different, but I'm not telling you what they are! Jenna is just wonderful and spiky and salty and clever: again - just as Doctor Who always does - it becomes a different show, and I'm thrilled with her, everyone's going to be.
The complete interview on Doctor Who, Sherlock, and the Kennedy assassination is available to listen to worldwide from the BBC iPlayer until next Monday afternoon.

The episode currently being filmed is not Jenna's first episode - that will be this year's Christmas Special (which Moffat reports is still being written and well overdue!) - but will be one of the 2013 episodes; it has been written by Neil Cross (Spooks/Luther), and is being directed by Jamie Payne (Ashes to Ashes, Primeval and the recent Call the Midwife). Locations filmed thus far have included the Manor House at Plas Llanmihangel, Margam Country Park and Gethin Woodland Park - the latter eliciting a comment from alternative rock group Let It Fall, who tweeted: "Soooo.. We was going to write some music in the woods, but we bumped into the Dr. Who film crew, cool ay?". Other unconfirmed reports indicated another trip 'across the bridge' to England late last week, possibly to Bristol's historic harbourside.

Writers:

During a school talk, writer Steve Thompson mentioned that he would be writing an episode for the forthcoming series, and commented that he needed to read the scripts of the first five episodes. With the Christmas Special known to be the sixth episode, this would place his story firmly within the second half of the series.

Mark Gatiss confirmed that he was writing a story for 2013 to Digital Spy at BAFTA, saying that "it's for the new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman, that's all I can tell you or I will actually be shot!"

As well as Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Neil Cross, other writers believed to be contributing towards the eight episodes featuring new co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman are John Fay and Tom MacRae.

Cast:

Some of the recent names to be confirmed in the next series include: for episode two, Riann Steele (Death in Paradise) as Queen Nefertiti; for episode four, Mark Williams continues his role as Rory's father Brian, Steven Berkoff (The Borgias) as Mr Shanks, Stephen Blything as Henry, Ruthie Henshall (The Case), Jemma Redgrave (Cold Blood, Bramwell) as Kate Stewart; and for episode five, Rob David (Rome) as Sam Garner and Michael McShane (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Clerks, Spawn) - the latter said on Twitter: "Getting ready to leave for Cardiff to be a villain in Dr.Who!! YEEESSSS!!!«. In my episode the Doctor finds he's got a;:/;;zapppppp GACK. sizzle,hissssss......« Most fantastic time doing Doctor Who; best cast and crew I've been with in a while! Long live Gallifrey...« Can't say what I did In Doctor Who, or Steven Moffat will ride in on a horse and crush my head with a mace, like Mel in "Braveheart"..sorry.«"

Caitlin Blackwood, aka the young Amelia Pond, was a guest at last weekend's Timegate convention, and when asked about possibly appearing in the next series she avoided the answer, instead miming having her lips zipped shut and saying "spoilers"...

On the other hand, John Simm commented: "in reply to many, regardless of what it says on imdb, No i'm not returning to Dr Who. Got absolutely no plans to do so.«"

Scheduling:

Addressing recent concerns over scheduling and a potentially shorter series in the future, Moffat assured listeners on the Richard Bacon show:
You're not getting shorter and shorter seasons, we're just splitting it over Christmas; we're making the same number of episodes as usual - I can tell by the grey hairs on my head - but we delayed it a few months to start it later in the year, that's all that's happened.

There's no chance of the BBC giving up on Doctor Who: it's a huge money spinner, it's doing better than ever abroad, the global number of people watching Doctor Who has just gone up and up and up, it was the most downloaded show on American iTunes last year - not a chance of the BBC giving up on Doctor Who, not at all.

Roath Lock Studios:

The BBC have released a video to introduce the new Roath Lock Studios at Cardiff Bay, presented by the 'current' cast of Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillan and Matt Smith; the video (originally shown to visitors at the studio's opening tour) includes facts and figures and a look behind the scenes within the new studios.



(With thanks to: Ultrapunch, CallistaRieekan, Ruther)